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Parks and open spaces


The council understands that the borough’s parks are vitally important for both physical and mental wellbeing. Therefore, our green spaces will remain open at this time.

However, social distancing guidelines apply, as set out by the government. This is a priority and not a choice. Therefore, whilst you can currently still go for a walk or exercise outdoors you must stay more than 2 metres (6 feet) from each other and not use children’s playgrounds or outdoor gym equipment.

We have taken the difficult decision to close Barking Park visitor centre and the Discovery Centre at Eastbrookend Country Park (ECP). Similarly, to support social distancing guidelines, Barking Park café is takeway only and Splash Park facilities must be booked in advance.

We will keep this situation under constant review. If people follow social distancing guidelines, then hopefully the borough’s parks can stay open. Thank you in anticipation of your understanding and cooperation.

Park facilities and services

The council is closely monitoring government advice on COVID-19 and are following the advice of Public Health England. We’re taking all appropriate measures to keep residents safe and healthy during this difficult time.

If you do go outdoors, please remember to follow the government’s advice on social distancing and follow these simple rules to prevent the disease from spreading:

  • do not visit a park if you have any symptoms (fever, coughs, shortness of breath)
  • if the park is crowded do not enter if you cannot safely observe social distancing
  • consider if you can visit your park at different times (later/earlier) to allow use by parents, children and older people during the day
  • stay 2 metres (6 feet) apart from each other
  • do not play team sports
  • do not use playgrounds or outdoor gym equipment or other areas of the park that have been closed - these are closed for your safety
  • do not use other fixed play equipment including games courts (multi use, basketball, tennis) and skate parks
  • no groups of more than 6 people 
  • keep your dog(s) on leads at all times
  • follow Public Health England (PHE) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advice on hand washing and washing your hands when you get home

Latest changes to our park services and facilities

Park opening times and gate locking 

Our parks will continue to be locked daily. However, the gate locking schedule will be amended and until further notice all gates (pedestrian and vehicle) will be locked at 9pm. This change will support social distancing by giving people more freedom and flexibility to get outdoors at different times. However, to make this work and reduce the pressure on the council’s resources, we need your cooperation. Please vacate parks before 9pm and ensure that vehicles are removed from park car parks before the gates are locked.

Park car parks

Park car parks are now open.

Visitor centres - Barking Park and ECP Discovery Centre

Now closed to the public until further notice.

Cafes - Barking Park and ECP Discovery Centre 

The Discovery Centre café remains closed. However, Barking Park café is now providing a take-away service.

Public toilets in parks

All public toilet facilities in parks are now closed. This includes the facilities in Barking Park, Central Park, Eastbrookend Country Park (i.e. Discovery Centre) and St Chads Park.

Boating and Pedalos

These are open from 10am to 6pm, Full details on the Boathouse website.

Splash Park

Customers need to book online in advance. Social distancing must be adhered to and hand sanitiser must be used. Full details on the Splash Park website.

Playgrounds and outdoor gyms

Now closed until further notice.

Fixed play equipment (for example, games courts (multi use, basketball, tennis) and skate parks) 

Some fixed play facilities have reopened (for example, tennis) but others remain closed

Sports pitches

All bookings have been cancelled and we are asking people not to meet in groups or participate in team sports. No additional sports pitch bookings will be taken until further notice.

Ranger Service environmental education and outreach programme (including school bookings)

All sessions, events and activities delivered by the Ranger Service and our partners have been suspended/cancelled with immediate effect.

Volunteer sessions and activities

All volunteer activities in parks have been cancelled with immediate effect.

Events (including small events, fun fairs, Summer of Festivals programme)

Following the government’s latest advice around preventing the spread of coronavirus, we have decided to postpone and reschedule a number of our community events and cultural programmes, including our Summer of Festivals.

We hope you understand that we haven’t taken this decision lightly but are following current government guidelines. The safety of our community members, volunteers and staff is our main priority.

However, we hope to be able to reschedule our entire programme and will continue to issue updates on this. At this stage the situation is changing daily, but any decision we make will be in accordance with the government’s advice at the time and will be done with the health of our residents and staff at the forefront.

Please continue to check our website for any updates on cancellations and rescheduling related to our cultural and community events.

Further information and advice

For updates on parks and related information call 0208 227 2332 or email: Rangers@lbbd.gov.uk.

Please check our main coronavirus page for advice and daily updates and also on our Twitter and Facebook.